An unfavourable legal opinion by the Texas Attorney General in 2016 means Daily Fantasy Sports DFS sites are operating in something of a legal grey zone in Dallas and the whole State. But – pending a court ruling – major operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel offer the full range of free and pay-to-enter competitions, and authorities in the State are not taking action against players or organisations
Can I play DFS games in Dallas?
It is possible to play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Dallas, and across Texas as a whole – though the question of its legality in the State remains up in the air.
In common with many US States, sports betting – as a form of gambling – remains illegal in Texas, despite the Supreme Court's 2018 decision to overturn the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
Texas only allows gambling in the form of the state lottery and horse and dog racing.
In early 2019, Rep. Eddie Lucio III filed the State's first sports betting bill since the federal-level ban was overturned. To pass, the bill will require a referendum to amend the constitution. Texas has historically been against all forms of gambling – if it does pass, Texas would become the second-largest sports betting market in the US, according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming forecasts.
The earliest that a referendum can take place is November 2019. If passed, sports betting could be legalized as early as January 1, 2020. Until such time as sports betting is made legal, sports fans have Fantasy Sports challenges.
DFS games have, on the whole, avoided that federal ban on gambling as they are classed as games of skill rather than chance – though, in Texas, it has been sailing close to the legal wind in recent years.
In 2016, Texas' Attorney General Ken Paxton offered the formal opinion that DFS constitutes gambling under state law. One major DFS operator, DraftKings, decided to test the opinion in court. While the wheels of State justice grind on, DraftKings has continued to accept new players in Texas to its paid-for gaming.
Between 2016 and 2018, FanDuel only offered free-to-play games in Texas, but – following its takeover by Paddy Power Betfair – it too has resumed its paid-for games in the State.
Pending a ruling or the State specifically legalizing DFS, the status of DFS remains in a legal grey area. But it would appear that there are no barriers to anyone over the age of 18 entering such competitions – certainly authorities are taking no action against any operators or players. In terms of security, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gaming Commission are responsible for all DFS activity so funds on the sites are 100% secure.
What DFS sites are available in Texas?
DraftKings boasts a range of sports, including fantasy basketball, golf, baseball, soccer, football, hockey, and even Nascar, MMA, and the CFL, and features free as well as pay-to-enter games. Until midnight December 31, 2019, DraftKings DFS bonus is a $10 free play to new registered users who follow a referral link and who deposit $5. Without any referral code.
FanDuel, like DraftKings, is a fantasy sports platform and features free as well as pay-to-enter games. Between them, FanDuel and DraftKings have 90 percent of the daily fantasy sports market. FanDuel is offering a bonus of $5 to new users who make an initial deposit of €5 (no promotional code needed). It also offers other inducements to new DFS players at different times of year.
All DFS websites offer Dallas citizens expert advice from their pundits on players to pick and avoid – and have player forums and a strong social media presence. Look out, too, for player forums on websites such as RotoGrinders, Daily Fantasy Sports Forum, or footballguys.com.